January 26, 2010
10:52 AM | Edit Post
They were caught in the crossfire between danger and desire...
HE’S A NAVY SEAL SUSPECTED OF MURDER
SHE’S HIS LOVER, AND THE CHIEF INVESTIGATOR
Chris Waldron, an elite U.S. Navy SEAL, is used to getting out of tight spots. But all his years of training can’t prepare him for the crisis he now faces. When a mission to rescue a kidnapped ambassador and his wife goes tragically awry, an FBI hostage negotiator is killed and Chris finds himself at the center of the ensuing investigation. Leading the charge is the blistering hot special agent and onetime lover who has re-ignited their mutual attraction.
Jamie Michaels is determined to keep things professional with Chris Waldron this time. But seeing him bruised and battered in that hospital bed has rekindled all those feelings she thought she’d left behind during their brief, passionate encounter in Africa. Now Jamie must keep her craving for danger at bay as she spearheads a search for the truth that just may blow Chris’s career to bits—and put them both in the crosshairs of an unseen enemy.
Note from reviewer:
If you have not read TOO HOT TO HOLD please read on with caution and at your own risk, as there may be spoilers concerning characters who first appeared as secondary characters in that book.
Chris Waldron, a Navy SEAL sniper, wakes up in a US military base infirmary in Djibouti after a Joint Task Force hostage rescue operation goes awfully wrong. People are killed, both hostages and members of the Task Force. Circumstances surrounding the Op are suspicious and the sole two survivors are Chris and Cam, a Delta operative. Then Jamie Michaels, the woman Chris had an intense but brief affair with 2 months earlier when they were on a mission to save his brother and her sister, turns out to be the FBI agent leading the investigation into the death of the FBI negotiator who was part of the Task Force. They said goodbye in Congo 2 months before but before long it's clear that their affair had some profound consequences. Soon Chris and Cam are both cleared but that doesn't mean the story ends there. It's just the beginning as Jamie’s past catches up with her and threatens everyone she has ever dared to love.
Chris has been a SEAL for years, his skills as a sniper are honed to perfection but personally he has trouble dealing with his psychic abilities. He has trouble accepting and integrating his "gift" into his live. He feels haunted by it because it's something he can't control and it’s hard to deal with the less pleasant part of his gift when he foresees bad things about people dear to him. He may seem laid back but the intensity comes through nice and clear. Determination and stubbornness linger just beneath the surface, waiting to erupt when triggered.
Jamie is practical, logical and stubborn. You would think Jamie is just an FBI agent like any other, but nothing is further from the truth. Traumatic experiences in her youth make that she is always on her guard and vigilant. She has built a wall of protection around herself and her feelings. Chris has a very hard time trying to penetrate that wall. She can't trust other people. No one...but she wants to trust Chris and ultimately she has to trust Chris.
To say I loved HOLD ON TIGHT would be a huge understatement...I really have no words to express what HOLD ON TIGHT did to me. Books like these are why I read. Even thinking about the end of HOLD ON TIGHT, tears jump back into my eyes at the beauty and completeness of it. I am still speechless and in awe. It was the perfect combination of suspense, romance and action, with just the right amount of unpredictability to it. It is an ode to strong women. Women, who make it through the most horrible things but still manage to come out on top, live and love. It was the sublime conclusion to a wonderful trilogy.
There are many secondary characters and again and consistently multiple story lines and POVs are part of this book. Where in HARD TO HOLD and TOO HOT TO HOLD they were good, didn't bother me and gave the books that something extra to make them great books. In HOLD ON TIGHT I wouldn't have wanted to miss any of them, the book would not be complete without the multiple POVs. They were so perfectly executed that I am still wondering what hit me. The plotlines were once again threaded throughout the book to come together and fall into place in the very last part of the book. Few of my hunches turned out the way I thought they would. For example, the PJ (Jamie's sister) and Saint (Chris' CO) hook-up. I called this one the minute PJ entered the scene and showed up at Jamie's doorstep, way before she and Saint even met. Or who was threatening Jamie. But these two were about the only ones I called right. Unexpected revelations and twists made the end extremely fast-paced and filled with action. I just couldn't stop reading as I went from surprise to laughter, from fear to anger and from arousal to tears.
Yet again the multiple POVs and storylines really worked for me and made for a coherent trilogy that was set up in the first installment, developed further in the second part, only to end in a well-rounded, perfect third and closing book. I loved that the POVs are all elaborate enough to really get to know the characters, their feelings, their backgrounds and their pasts. I've said it before in the reviews of the other books comprising this trilogy: they enrich and layer the stories and make them so much more than SEAL meets girl, they avert danger, fall in love and live happily ever after. The love scenes, all of them, had a sense of urgency, desperation and intensity, which made them fit the rest of the book and the characters perfectly.
I loved the equality between the women and men in this trilogy. The men stand behind their women, the women stand behind their men. They handle things and deal with their problems, external or internal, together and there's no overpowering or dominance. They are all strong and brave people but not overly so. In TOO HOT TO HOLD Stephanie Tyler surprised me with the action and suspense. In HOLD ON TIGHT it was with the powerful emotions and the characters that she blew me away. She showed me the men and the women behind the tough military and law enforcement façades. She took me into their lives and heads and showed me their fears, hopes, dreams, insecurities and desires. She made them realistic and believable, which is a remarkable feat and it was carried out to perfection. The combination of strength and vulnerability in all the main characters is written so perfectly that I am still in awe.
HARD TO HOLD, TOO HOT TO HOLD and HOLD ON TIGHT are three very different installments of this trilogy. On their own they are great books to read but together they form that consistent and complete whole to make the trilogy utterly commendable. Initially I had a very hard time deciding which of these books I liked the most but after finishing HOLD ON TIGHT I can honestly and profoundly declare it my favorite of the three. Hands. Down. The small things that kept HARD TO HOLD and TOO HOT TO HOLD from being perfect reads, weren’t present in this one. No inconsistencies; not even the smallest one. An enticing little bit of bad guy POV I missed in HARD TO HOLD. The brotherly connection I missed in TOO HOT TO HOLD was back full force and I welcomed and loved it. The brothers were amazing together, their bond deepened more and became even stronger than in the previous books.
In this book there is no primary hero/heroine couple. It revolves around a group of people who are all equally important to the plot, no matter if they had a large or small word count in their POV. And two couples formed the foundation of both that plot and more importantly, the romance. Neither is more or less important than the other. Both couples took up their own space in my heart, broke it and then put it back together with an ending that was just perfect. I have no other word for it. It was closure to a beginning that was made in HARD TO HOLD, expanded in TOO HOT TO HOLD and perfected in HOLD ON TIGHT.
All added up I couldn't do anything but rate this book a perfect read. It definitely deserves the 10 out of 10 and contrary to many other perfect reads this time it didn't give me a hero to add to the favorites list, but a heroine...and not even the one mentioned on the back cover of this book: I am adding PJ to my favorite heroines list. For me she was the character who stood out the most in this book, and believe me, that is saying a lot because all the others weren't too shabby either. PJ is an enigma. She seems to be harsh and volatile but there is something about her that makes her likeable at the same time. To me she is the female equivalent of Nick: aloof, tough and straightforward but underneath there's a caring, soft woman who is searching for something that lasts, someone who will love and accept her. Someone she won't feel the urge to run from scared of messing up their lives. She finds this someone in Saint. Saint who totally blindsided me as I wasn't impressed by him in HARD TO HOLD but in HOLD ON TIGHT he just took my breath away in every sense of the word.
I am literally feeling sad to leave these all the couples from these three books behind now that the trilogy is completed. I secretly hope to get glimpses of at least the brothers and their women in Stephanie Tyler's next SEAL book as it's about Cam and loosely connected to this trilogy. I am beyond ready to venture further in this military romance world Stephanie Tyler has created. This first taste definitely has sparked a craving for more.
With the Hold trilogy Stephanie Tyler has made me a devoted fan and an extremely satisfied and happy reader. She has given me a trilogy to hold dear and treasure forever.
There were two things Chris knew well: his rifle and a woman’s body. With either he could spend hours studying their intricacies, their individual quirks and hot spots…their flaws. He knew when either one was going to jam up and let him down or settle in to give him the shot of his life. Rifles and women –he loved them both, and not necessarily in that order.
“What do you want, Jamie?”
“You,” she whispered. “Can that just be enough for now?”
“Yeah, that can be enough.”
She watched his face carefully. “You saved my life.”
“And you’re saving mine right now. Every time you touch me or say my name, you make me feel human again,” he said quietly. “So go ahead, make me feel.”
A bit of PJ and Saint:
Tonight he didn’t bother to get up, laid with one arm over his head and the other hand moving up and down his rock-hard erection. Even without looking, he knew she was there in the dark, watching. It was hot and dirty and he wanted her to do more than watch, wished she’d push her way into the room and into his bed, the way she’d pushed herself unwittingly into his life, just when he needed someone the most.
She moaned into his mouth, tried to remember, how long it had been since she’d actually kissed someone, and couldn’t.
But she knew no one else had ever kissed her like this, like they owned her. Saint had everything it took to back up that claim –and more.
Rating: 10 out of 10
Question: The Hold Trilogy contains books that have multiple POVs. I adored this in these books and now I'm curious: Do you like multiple POVs? If so, what do you like about them? If not, what is your reason for not liking them? If you've never read books with multiple POVs, would you want to?
The rules are really simple. Answer the above question(s) and one random commenter will receive a brand new copy of HOLD ON TIGHT. I received it last week but as I also received a copy for review from Stephanie Tyler I decided to give my copy away to a random commenter on this review. The giveaway is open to anyone, worldwide, who answers the above question. No answer, no entry for the giveaway...
You have until Saturday January 30th to comment. I will draw a winner on Sunday January 31st.
Please leave a way to contact you, either in your blogger profile or in the comment. Please note that if I do not find your email in your profile or the comment, I will select another winner.
Labels: Bantam Dell, giveaway, Hold Trilogy, perfect reads, reviews, Romantic Suspense, Stephanie Tyler
Nice to meet you!
- 39, married to my real life romance hero, addicted to TV shows, reading romance novels and Twitter. I'm a chronic (e)book hoarder and my absolute favorite genres within romance fiction are contemporary romance and romantic suspense, but I don't shy away from historical, paranormal or erotic romance either. Even the occasional (urban) fantasy romance, futuristic and sci fi romance may make it to my Mount TBR. This is my corner of the world wide web where I let you know what books I'm hoarding, reading and reviewing.
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